TRENDS – How Candles Have Innovated in 2020

As we head towards the end of 2020, now is the time to look at the ways our lives have changed in the last year. Despite everything that was handed to us, we found new ways to press on. We have had to change how we work and run businesses, find new ways to go to school or learn virtually, adapt to new shopping protocols, and rethink what it means to spend time with family and friends. Through all of these changes, the commonality between the successes of the year is the ability to innovate.

NCA and the candle industry as a whole is an example of innovation in 2020. Some of our members had to go from manufacturing candles to pivoting to making PPE, while other members revved up hand sanitizer production. We have adapted from brick and mortar shopping to expanded online shopping, curbside pick-up and delivery models. Business meetings and conferences went from in-person gatherings to completely virtual events. Though met with challenges along the way, we have to not only found new ways of operating but done so successfully.

In the last seven months, our needs have changed as well. No longer is there a need for expensive lipstick that no one will see under our face masks, and designer handbags now sitting in our closets. What we crave is a little bit of comfort, lingering to our memories and looking for something new among our daily grind of the new normal, whether it be a familiar smell of vanilla or a luxury scent of bergamot.

Candles have found many ways to help us. They can transport us through scents – bringing us to that destination we miss, bringing us back to memories of family, and now expanding our senses through innovative scents. Candle manufacturers have tapped into our need for something new – that is old again. There are scents based on the smell of pencil shavings to bring us back to the classroom, destination scents that can take you back to your favorite trip or vacation location and woody scents that remind us of an outdoor campfire. Some scents can soothe your senses at the end of a trying day. There are even candles that smell like your favorite soda, take-out food or car wash soap.

As the holiday season fast approaches, look to candles to bring some innovation into your life – as a gift, or a gift to yourself. Treat your loved one to something that any woman or man will truly love. Not only are candles easy to buy online or in-person at any price range, they have the ability to transport you to another place outside your small circle. This year, we see a trend in “comfort scents” like fir and sugar cookies, design trends for nostalgia with colors leaning toward jewel tones and exciting new innovations in texture, such as leather or stone and many unique vessels and the use of glass containers.

Let’s remember to find some good in all the bad and to use our own ability to innovate as we navigate on toward 2021. Candles can be a great way to bring you back in time, to another place, to bring something new into your home and to create that comforting feeling we are all seeking.